Headteacher’s Weekly Bulletin
Friday 6th December 2013
Dear Parents and Carers
I’m sure that you all greeted the news of Nelson Mandela’s death with sadness last night and, like me, took a few moments to reflect on the perhaps immeasurable impact of one of the greatest icons of the 20th and 21st centuries. “Long Walk to Freedom” written by Mandela in 1994 is a must read in my view and I have taken inspiration (and lots of assemblies) from it on numerous occasions. I particularly remember his release from prison in 1990, a pivotal moment in history, as it was also the week after my father's sudden death. It is now something of a cliché but this was a true leader who transcended politics, nationality and race and I’ve no doubt he will be referred to by staff in School today. As a Headteacher, his values and beliefs of compassion, forgiveness, reconciliation, true equality and the championing of the “underdog” are surely what we would all wish to instil in our young people. I would be interested to know how many of our students know who Mandela was and what he achieved. Perhaps this could be a conversation topic around the take-aways at home this evening.
So what’s been going on closer to home? Quite a short report today. I think it’s all the mock exam marking teachers are doing. Year 11s are about to finish their first five days of mocks and the mammoth marking task begins for teachers. This is, of course, a crucial milestone in Year 11 and appropriate support and intervention will follow in the new term. I hope students have been putting in the necessary revision; there are times when I sense that some consider it sufficient to attend lessons and extra lessons in the lead up to exams and that they are not required to supplement this with work at home. I also believe that some students, despite our assumptions, genuinely do not know how to revise. We endeavour to identify and support these students but perhaps you are aware of such issues at home. If this is the case, please let us know.
Rehearsals are going well for the Carol Service (7.00 p.m. on Monday 16th December) but Mrs Moorhouse has asked me to chivvy people along, particularly staff and 6th Formers. It is not too late to offer your services. It should be a great evening once again and I look forward to seeing you there.
6th Form News
There have been interviews this week for the role of LRC mentor. We have had the most applications ever from Year 12. Unfortunately Mr Cropper and Mrs Ware cannot interview all but Mr Cropper has been delighted that his 6th Formers are so keen to support younger students with their work after school. There are, of course, numerous other opportunities for our older students to participate in and contribute to the life of the School. I was chatting to some 6th Formers this week about this and emphasising the need to view the 6th Form as the pinnacle of one’s career at Wellington, that it should be an aspiration for all our Year 7s and that there is an expectation and responsibility on our Year 12 and Year 13 students that comes with that. They are great bunch and enhance the life of the School enormously.
Business Studies News
Mrs Clarke has a further update on her Business Studies project. “Team Ignite” have been busy selling their gingerbread biscuits in aid of St Ann’s Hospice. Following a busy Christmas fair and lunchtime sales, they have competed with other schools selling their biscuits at a sales event organised by Manchester Airport. The students found this very challenging at first but once their entrepreneurial skills kicked in, sales began to improve. They now face two further challenges – selling at a primary school Christmas fair and at Waitrose, Altrincham. Perhaps you could go along and lend your support and put your hand in your pocket. Next week is the grand final – good luck to “Team Ignite”.
Miss Hitchens has now judged the Punctuation Song Contest mentioned last week. A huge well-done to 7.1a and 8.2a for their phenomenal efforts. The English department are incredibly excited about using these videos as an excellent teaching resource in the future.
I have been aware of Miss Hitchens’ penchant for “tweeting” for a while and this has led to the creation of the @WellyLiterature page for Year 12 English Literature students. Lots of students have already returned parental consent forms and the page has its first followers! Some fantastic debate, reading lists and useful resources have already been shared and Miss Hitchens has found information on a day of lectures on ‘A Clockwork Orange’ that she plans to take Year 12 to in the New Year. The technical revolution moves on a pace at Wellington.
Mr McQuiggan has asked me to mention that in Maths they use a website called mangahigh.com. It’s an online homework resource with Maths games, challenges etc. Currently we are having a “fai-to”(Japanese for fight) with a school in America. If you say so! A lot of pupils are really engaged with making sure that Wellington School is victorious. The children are doing very well and over the last few days have risen to the top 50 schools in the world. I don’t really understand this but it sounds impressive. I’ll find out more. Well done Mr McQuiggan and students.
The collection for Altrincham Muslim Association to help the homeless this Christmas is going well so far; lots of scarves brought in by a number of students. We are still collecting for another couple of weeks so keep any blankets and materials coming in to Miss Davison in Room 42.
We had four nominations for the School’s chosen charity for the Sponsored Walk 2014 which were put to the School Council, debated and voted on. All four were extremely worthwhile causes and are deserving of the huge amount we always raise. I will announce the “winning” charity in due course.
Miss MacGlinchey tells me that our Year 9 girls had another visit from Sky Sports “Living For Sport” Mentor, former judo Olympian Michelle Vidler. They spent the day taking part in practical team building activities, workshops developing their communication, leadership and people skills and some fun judo specific games. Michelle also shared some stories of her time as an Olympian and proved an inspiration to all the students present. Who knows, someone may have been sufficiently inspired to become a future Judo Olympic athlete themselves.
This week has seen the Trafford cross country event at Sale Harriers. The Year 7 girls finished 6th out of 14 and the Year 8/9 girls finished 5th out of 14. A great achievement on both accounts. Top 3 finish next year?! Our best finishers in Year 7 were Charlotte Mairs (13th) and Issy Bennett (21st). In the Year 8/9 race Liv Crompton finished 14th and Chloe Addis 23rd. Every girl who took part did the School proud and was an absolute credit. They all pushed themselves to the limit, reports Miss Hodges.
In the boys’ events, Wellington entered a Year 7, joint 8 and 9 and joint 10 and 11 teams. Thanks to Mr Tomlinson for the detailed report: “Our students were excellent in both their conduct during the day and their effort and enthusiasm. The Year 7 team consisted of Dan Flisk (finished 7th), Toby Redman (finished 11th), Tom Carr (23rd) and Luke Turner (40th) which is excellent considering it was their first event and they were up against 70-80 runners. The Year 7 team finished 5th in Trafford and both Dan and Toby have been selected to run for Trafford at the Greater Manchester tournament in February.
The Year 8 and 9 team consisted of Luke McKendry (9th), Dan Thompson (20th), Harvey Tero (25th), Joe Abadi-Johns (29th), Matt Heeron (44th), Charlie Yates (54th) and Scott Milner (55th). The Year 8 and 9 race seemed have the most runners involved touching close to a 100 competitors . Special mention goes to Dan and Joe who were Year 8 competing with Year 9 and finished in very good positions. The team finished in 6th position with Luke selected to run for Trafford at the Greater Manchester tournament in February.
We also entered a Year 10 and 11 team to try and aid individuals with their GCSE practical scores as well as running for the enjoyment of it. The team of Year 10s consisted of Jack Wright (19th), Alex Worthington (28th) and Cameron Kemp (46th). The team of Year 11s consisted of James Kelsall (48th), Elliot Guy (49th) and Kyle Taylor (50th). Thank you to these boys for competing and making up a team that finished 8th overall and special well done to Jack who finished very well and scored highly on his GCSE assessment.”
All the competitors made Mr Tomlinson very proud as he watched them entering the final stages of the race; the sheer guts and determination to keep going on a cold and windy day certainly warmed his heart.
In netball, the Year 9s went head-to-head this week with their nemesis, Withington High School for Girls, winners of the Greater Manchester league and cup last year. Despite high hopes, the result was the same as last year against a truly outstanding opponent. Miss Richards writes “Although we lost, we had a super game with some really outstanding effort and commitment to the team. GoG was Nancy Stewart.”
It was the second round of basketball fixtures this week. The Year 8/9 team beat Sale Grammar 30-26 with Jake Howarth taking the Man of the Match award. The joint Year 10/11 team lost 30-22 in a hard fought game against the same opponents. Wellington matched a strong Sale side for much of the game but missed a series of excellent opportunities in the final quarter. Robert Gill was Man of the Match.
Next week also sees the final rugby fixtures of the term; the joint Year 10/11 team is playing against Stretford Grammar and Sale Grammar at St Ambrose on Tuesday evening in a 3-way tournament and the Year 7 and 8 teams are playing at Bowdon RUFC at 3 o’clock on Wednesday. Your support would be much appreciated.
And finally, after much waiting and lots of false starts and considerable angst, the all-weather pitch will finally be open for use, in lessons and for extra-curricular activity from Monday. It really has been the school sport equivalent of the Holy Grail. Thanks to John Watson for his persistence in finally acquiring and project-managing what our students have needed and deserved for so long. I hope they’re all as excited about it as I am.
Your sons and daughters will be bringing home a letter this afternoon (those of you requesting email correspondence will also get an ”electronic” copy) with details of the last two weeks of term, most notably, the 12.45 end of term finish on Friday 20th December.
“Contemplation often makes life miserable. We should act more, think less and stop watching ourselves live.” Nicolas de Chamfort. That’s my “message to self” this weekend. Relax, unwind and enjoy. I think I’ll buy a Christmas tree and watch the children fall out whilst decorating it. I love this time of year.
Have a good weekend
S P Beeley
Welcome to Wellington School
...and thank you for taking the time to view our website. I would like to begin by saying what an absolute honour it is to assume the Headship of our Outstanding School, and I look forward to the challenge of maintaining the exceptional standards set by my predecessor, Mrs Armstrong, and moving Wellington forward in the future.
Wellington School is an 11 – 18 Outstanding Academy with Humanities Specialism. Our motto is ‘Excellence in Everything’ and that is our aim in everything we do. To achieve this, high standards are expected of all our students and staff. All of our work is anchored in the values of mutual respect, responsibility, discipline, care for the individual and high achievement.
We are proud of our school and the achievements of our students, and our success is reflected in our popularity. High levels of student attendance and above average academic achievement – both local and nationally – are a clear sign of the value students and parents place on the experience of being part of Wellington School.
We hope you enjoy our website and find it both informative and useful.
Stuart Beeley, Headteacher
I am pleased to publish the results and my thoughts on the latest Kirkland Rowell Parent Survey - please see the new tab at the top of the page ' Parent Survey 2013'.